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MortMorrison is an artist of varied skill. His portfolio ranges from CG to pixel art and from traditional pieces to animation. Although Morrison is rather humble and always believes his pieces can be improved, anyone who looks at his art will be amazed at the technique, time, and imagination that is put into it. The characters he brings to life are a joy to behold and each new artwork is a relief to those waiting to see what he comes up with next.
ToonariPost (TP): How and when did you first start practicing your art (are you traditionally trained or self-taught)?
MortMorrison (MM): I have been drawing and painting ever since I can remember. When I was 9 years old I stumbled upon my first influences, manga and anime series. At this point I was drawing just for fun. I was fascinated and inspired by the new impressions. Not until I was twelve years old did I began to exercise my art skills seriously. I bought some “How to Draw“ books and learned for first time about topics like proportion and perspective. From this point on I was addicted to learning as much as I can.
Nowadays, friends of mine don’t understand why I still buy these “How to Draw“ books, but I think I can still learn something new and if not they’re refreshing my mind and I like to look at them. I just never considered visiting any art classes because I was satisfied the way I was learning already.
TP: What mediums do you use for your art work? Which is your favorite and why?
MM: I started with traditional methods like colored pencils, watercolor, and acrylics. I analyzed my idols’ works and tested different techniques. After a while I stumbled upon alcohol based markers like copic markers. I also tried airbrushing and colored ink. The result was that my traditional works become a mixture of markers, crayons, watercolor, colored ink, acrylic paint and airbrush. Every time after coloring a piece my room looked like a mess. The markers are still my absolute favorite of the traditional methods. I love how they work and their color range.
I did not bother to paint digitally for a long time – not until 2009. Still insecure, I blindly took my chances with the new tool. Suddenly, I grew an awareness of the differences between traditional and digital drawing and I noticed the advantages of digital art, like being able to redo everything for improvement over and over again. This is, by the way, another reason why my works took around 3 weeks to accomplish. Even today I need at least a week to finish a picture. It is indeed a double-edged sword.
I appreciate both – traditional and CG equally. My traditional work is fast paced and the smell of the materials reminds me in some way of my childhood. CG granted me new possibilities to visualize my thoughts – I consider it a new stage of life. But it also turns drawing into a long and exhausting process.
TP: Which piece of your artwork are you most proud of?
MM: It’s hard to be proud or satisfied with my pictures and to overcome the feeling that I could have done more. There is always something I want to improve afterwards. I feel like for the time I spend on the piece it should come out better. I still have to learn to appreciate my work, but I am equally proud of all of my pictures.
TP: When you first started did you ever hit any bumps in your art process? How did you overcome them?
MM: Absolutely. I had and still have, sometimes, motivational issues to overcome. It’s a nasty, but natural part of my working process. When it happens, I lay down the pencil and let time go by. Part of the problem is my attitude, wanting to solve a problem when I see one. Working around it is not an option. If something does not work I will try and try again until it does.
TP: Who or what are your inspirations and why?
MM: My inspiration is also my first memory of a manga. My father sat down with Dragonball Volume 22 and I luckily got my hands on it. I read and bought volumes 1 through 4 the very next day and I continued to buy them (only hindered by my pocket money). I was fascinated by the drawings and the story and most of all, the humor. I admire Akira Toriyama for those books and for the impact his art has had on my life as an artist.
After that I turned to the anime Sailor Moon. It was broadcasted on television and I remember drawing lots of Sailor Moon fanarts. To this day, I am inspired by their art. Its amazing. Further, I have to mention artists like Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21),Takeshi Obata (Bakuman, Death Note) and Masakazu Katsura (I”s) which are great inspirations for me. I still look at their work with great admiration.